Creating a healthier, better connected Gippsland.

Suicide Prevention Program

The Place Based Suicide Prevention Program is a project funded jointly by the Victorian Department of Health and Gippsland PHN to work with communities to contribute to the reduction of the suicide rate within the Latrobe Valley and Bass Coast.

Gippsland PHN is working with other partners on the trial including the local communities, health agencies, local governments, emergency services, schools and media outlets.


The Victorian suicide prevention framework 2016-2025 was released in July 2016. The framework establishes a goal to halve Victoria’s suicide rate by 2025 and is supported by investment of $27 million over four years for two key initiatives; assertive outreach to support people and families after a suicide attempt; and place-based suicide prevention trials in six locations.

The locations of the trial sites were announced as part of the release of the suicide prevention framework, with a commitment to begin operation during 2016/17. The Gippsland trial site funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is Latrobe Valley.

The Department of Health and Human Services have partnered with Gippsland PHN to deliver the trials. Gippsland PHN has contributed additional federal resources to expand the reach of the program. This contribution has funded an additional trial site for the Bass Coast local Government Area.

Program Outline

The place-based program locations will achieve the following outcomes:

  • Reduced rates of suicide
  • Reduced suicide attempts
  • Improved individual resilience and wellbeing
  • Improved system to prevent suicide in an ongoing way

These high-level goals will inform the development of the evaluation framework. These outcomes align with the PHN missions and objectives including improved coordination of care that ensures patients receive the right care in the right place at the right time, increased efficiency and effectiveness of medical services and other primary health services and leading innovation and evidence-based practice.

The interventions will focus on capacity building and enhancing system effectiveness, rather than service expansion or new services, and may include:

  • training general practitioners to assess depression and other mental illnesses, and support people at risk of suicide
  • suicide prevention training for frontline staff every three years, including police, ambulance and other first responders
  • gatekeeper training for people likely to come into contact with individuals at-risk
  • school-based peer support and mental health literacy programs
  • community suicide prevention awareness programs
  • responsible suicide reporting by media
  • reducing access to lethal means of suicide

The project commenced in April 2017 and is currently due to conclude June 2022.

Program Stages

The key stages of the project are:

  • Stage 1 – Engagement of staff and resources, determining local governance structure in each area and identifying key stakeholders.
  • Stage 2- Stakeholder consultation, review of experiences and preliminary analysis and planning, including review of current activities, strategies and frameworks.
  • Stage 3- Project plan development and delivery and/or commissioning of key activities with ongoing evaluation.
  • Stage 4 – Final report including critical analysis and project evaluation.

Suicide resources in Gippsland